VIDEO: Quadruple Amputee Takes Flight

Photo by marianne bos on Unsplash

( – Zachary Anglin, a Nigerian man born a quadruple amputee, meaning that he has no hands or feet, was adopted by his mother who runs an orphanage in Monrovia, Liberia. While he was growing up, he had to adapt to his surroundings in order to live his life.

In an interview, he admitted that according to his mother, as a child he did not realize that he was missing both his hands and feet until he was around eight years old. This was because throughout his childhood he had tried to always keep up with his 18 siblings, whether that was by having to climb a tree, skateboard, or even just try to get the last pizza piece.

However, his one dream was always to be a pilot. As he admitted, his mother was a frequent traveler throughout his childhood, and every time they would take her to the airport, he would look at the big airplanes and think to himself this was what he wanted to do. As he proceeded to say, his father was also a big fan of planes, which further drove his dream of becoming a pilot.

As he said in his senior year, many people tried to steer him away from becoming a pilot because of his condition. The school counselor even encouraged him to instead go into law. However, Anglin did not back down and chose to apply to five flight schools. One of the schools did accept him, which was the start of his journey.

Because of his condition, he failed the medical exam five times, but he kept trying and managed to in the end get a SODA—a statement of demonstrated ability— which meant that he could train to be a pilot.

After he got his SODA, he needed to learn how to adjust his position in the plane in order to be able to hit all the buttons, pedals, and brakes. Zachary Anglin is now a commercial pilot and a pilot instructor, helping others overcome similar difficulties to the ones he faced.


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